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Why C K Stead is the Mike Hosking of lit crit

This essay was written in an ongoing fit of indignation and subseqently entered into the 2016 Landfall essay competition. It didn't get anywhere - read anyway and let me know what you think.¬ Read more

Infatuated with Javier Marias

To our lovers, wives and husbands, are we all merely substitutes? Are we loved simply because this is where we are at a particular place at a particular time in the life of the other,... Read more

Bibliophilia is bollocks

The Victorian art critic, John Ruskin, said, " If a book is worth reading, it is worth buying". I wonder if he would say now, "If a book is worth reading, it is worth a... Read more

The Mijo Tree

Are you are wondering what to give to someone this Christmas, that friend or relative who has everything except a stylishly bound and beautifully illustrated book from New Zealand's greatest writer? Look no further than... Read more

Now it's poor drivers

On the news last night, there was a segment on the Accident Compensation Corporation's proposal to reduce ACC levies for people owning cars that the Corporation has rated as being the safest. Read more

Rich people are weird

Due to a set of circumstances too convoluted to go into here, I found myself on board a ship recently with 30-odd rich people or, as we like to say in New Zealand, the "comfortably off". Read more

These are a few of my favourite things

Maria fancied raindrops on roses and Amelie loved cracking the crust of a creme brulee with the back of her teaspoon. Read more

Heritage? What heritage?

There was a brilliant doco on Prime on Sunday about the state and fate of heritage buildings, the first in a series on the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes. Read more